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Cat. No. CHAN 9840 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9840 - Bortnyansky: Sacred Concertos, Vol. 3
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Available From: 17 August 2000
It was in 1779 that Bortnyansky was appointed Kapellmeister of the Court Cappella, an institution that he would be associated with for the rest of his life. Most of his liturgical works for chorus were written in the early 1790s, and coincided with the last years of Catherine the Great’s reign. As a true reflection of their time, they are imbued with the spirit of the late Baroque and the ideals of enlightenment.

Their function can be regarded as twofold. Firstly, the arts and sciences were seen as spiritually ennobling and edifying, and secondly music at the court of Catherine the Great performed an important state function and had to reflect the prestige and the grandeur of the throne. Of Bortnyansky’s sacred works the sacred concertos, which are nearly all settings of verses from the book of Psalms, are considered to be the most important and mark the high point of the genre in Russia during the eighteenth century.

The concertos in this group contain a wealth of variety and many features that appear for the first time in these works. For example the ‘secular’ style of Concertos Nos 22 and 23 shows how Bortnyansky creates multiform structures within single movements. Another important new feature is the use of fugue, fugato and stretto. In common with some of the earlier concertos, we find many secular features, as in the opening of the second movement of Concerto No. 21 and particularly in the operatic style of Concerto No. 22.
Reviews

‘Bortnyansky’s choral writing is of the first rank, and perfectly caught by the superb Russian State Symphonic Cappella.’
‘International Record Review’ on CHAN 9783 (Volume 2)

‘Polyansky obtains magnificent results for his singers , and his engineer, Igor Veprintsev, gives him superb sound…’
Fanfare

‘Full marks to everyone involved with this release: excellent recorded sound… superb performances from Valeri Polyansky and his Russian State Symphonic Cappella that allow us to hear Bortnyansky as we ought to hear him – a radical restored.’
‘Fanfare’ on CHAN 9729 (Volume 1)

 

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